Enough Rodeo Clown Politicking

A Missouri rodeo's response to a clown wearing an Obama mask was totally justified.

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This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull,” according to a spectator. “So then everybody screamed. ... They just went wild,” said Perry Beam, who attended the rodeo at the State Fair in Sedalia on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. State Fair officials apologized calling the display inappropriate and disrespectful.

I wanted to write a quick post on, to borrow a rodeo term, the "blows-up" over the Missouri Rodeo Association's actions toward a performer who wore an Obama mask at this past Saturdays' event. Conservative news outlets are accusing state officials of "chute-fighting" in the interest of political correctness.

Many argue that it's fine for clowns to wear Nixon, Reagan and Bush masks, but not an Obama one, and that the State Fair is stifling free speech. This is not the case, and these journalists leave out facts that justified the association's response.

The rodeo is a family event. The National Rodeo Ring code of conduct requires that performers' moral values must be certain and positive, so that those younger will be influenced by their example.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Now if we find out that the association let clowns wear Nixon, Reagan or Bush masks in the past, that's a problem, but I doubt it. Most Cowboys are Republicans. If a clown had worn a Bush mask, the crowd would have gone into a full-tilt riot, raining apocalyptic destruction on the fried dough stands.

On the other hand, there's no reason for Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., to cancel this Thursday's Ham Breakfast, despite some Missouri Democrats calls to do so. That would politicize what happened Saturday, prevent attendees from mingling with their elected officials, and keep all the good red and blue pancakes off the table.   

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